Phil Robertson Is Officially Back on 'Duck Dynasty' and A&E's Statement Is Inadequate
Well, that didn't take long. After he was suspended from Duck Dynasty earlier this month for making a series of anti-gay comments to GQ magazine, A&E announced that they are reinstating Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty , effective immediately. In other words, he will be included in the next season of the series, as if nothing happened. Did I mention what Robertson actually said to get himself booted from the series in the first place? No? Here's one statement for example: "It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes!" (UPDATE: GLAAD has issued a statement about A&E's decision to continue its relationship with Robertson: "Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A+E has chosen profits over African American and gay people — especially its employees and viewers.")
In other words, he said some terrible shit.
A&E's decision comes after a petition to reinstate Robertson on the series reached over 250,000 signatures, well over its goal.
To explain their (confusing) decision, A&E released a statement, which was published on The Hollywood Reporter this afternoon:
...While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.
So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.
The statement goes on to read that the network will be launching "a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people," to make up for the fact that the star of their show is a jerk.